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Creating a SaaS around a very simple idea?

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PizzaOnTheRoof

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Quick post just asking for feedback.

Let's say I have a very simple idea for a SaaS product, something that could be solved with a spreadsheet (albeit ugly). The SaaS of course would be able to be expanded upon to add some features but not much as to not add too much bloat.

Is it worth creating a full fledged SaaS based around a simple calculation/data that could be handled by Excel? Any examples of a successful 'micro-SaaS"?
 

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Ravens_Shadow

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Sure, my business started as a way to solve a very, very small problem. We built a much larger product down the road and have had great success. Without the micro product at the beginning, we'd have never gotten to where we are.
 

PizzaOnTheRoof

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Sure, my business started as a way to solve a very, very small problem. We built a much larger product down the road and have had great success. Without the micro product at the beginning, we'd have never gotten to where we are.
Interesting. I’ll have to read back through your progress thread.

My worry is that there’s a lot of other competitors that all solve the problem the traditional way, and are relatively good at it and are successful.

I’m afraid my solution is too simple and will alienate most of the market, because it’s geared towards people overwhelmed with the current offerings.
 

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Interesting. I’ll have to read back through your progress thread.

My worry is that there’s a lot of other competitors that all solve the problem the traditional way, and are relatively good at it and are successful.

I’m afraid my solution is too simple and will alienate most of the market, because it’s geared towards people overwhelmed with the current offerings.
Other people solving a problem isn't a reason not to do it. Other people solved our problem too, we just did it better and simpler. If you literally don't have a business, just start this and see where it goes. It's better than doing nothing.
 

PizzaOnTheRoof

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Other people solving a problem isn't a reason not to do it. Other people solved our problem too, we just did it better and simpler. If you literally don't have a business, just start this and see where it goes. It's better than doing nothing.
Absolutely. Thanks man!
 

Kevin88660

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Quick post just asking for feedback.

Let's say I have a very simple idea for a SaaS product, something that could be solved with a spreadsheet (albeit ugly). The SaaS of course would be able to be expanded upon to add some features but not much as to not add too much bloat.

Is it worth creating a full fledged SaaS based around a simple calculation/data that could be handled by Excel? Any examples of a successful 'micro-SaaS"?
As long as you solve a problem that is worth paying for customer don't care how much it costs you.

I am currently paying for pdf editors from more than one saas provider.

But I do think there must not be a free alternative that is good enough.
 

WillHurtDontCare

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Quick post just asking for feedback.

Let's say I have a very simple idea for a SaaS product, something that could be solved with a spreadsheet (albeit ugly). The SaaS of course would be able to be expanded upon to add some features but not much as to not add too much bloat.

Is it worth creating a full fledged SaaS based around a simple calculation/data that could be handled by Excel? Any examples of a successful 'micro-SaaS"?


twitter.com/saaswiz/

Starting a SaaS is easier and cheaper than you'd think.
 

PizzaOnTheRoof

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As long as you solve a problem that is worth paying for customer don't care how much it costs you.

I am currently paying for pdf editors from more than one saas provider.

But I do think there must not be a free alternative that is good enough.
So there are a lot of good free options BUT of all the ones I tried, they were overwhelming and complicated.

I don’t know if you’re into Bitcoin but an analogy would be full on exchanges vs Swan Bitcoin.

I guess my plan would be to start off free and offer a paid plan for extra features my base product is so simple.
 

PizzaOnTheRoof

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Xav243

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Thanks! I’ll take a look.

Have you done this masterclass?
Hi PizzaOnTheRoof (fan of Breaking Bad? :) )

I am currently following this course to learn Python which I will use in order to build a SAAS:

If you can accept the accent of the instructor (Eastern Europe) then I am sure you will love this course. It will teach you to build 10 real-world apps, Afterwards you can use this knowledge to build anythin you want.
 

Kid

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Other people solving a problem isn't a reason not to do it. Other people solved our problem too, we just did it better and simpler. If you literally don't have a business, just start this and see where it goes. It's better than doing nothing.
This says all.
You can scale to different (bigger) things with something small and simple getting popular.
Can't add anything.
 

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Ing

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SaaS is very interesting.
But I don’t have a real imagination, what is possible with Saas more than the Results on Google.
To get a picture, whats possible, where can I read about Saas? Not a about Python or programming in general, but use cases/applications.
 
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Xav243

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Saas is basically a program that you access from a server. It can be written in different languages.
As for examples it can be a crm, marketing as eliquid develops, booking platform etc
Hope it clarifies
 

Vasili27

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is it worth creating a Saas if you have very little knowledge about coding? obviously creating a SaaS is not a one man job necessarily but is being proficient or advance in programming needed.
 
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woken

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There’s a simple web solution that turns htmls into pdfs. They make 8k/ month.

At this point I believe anything is possible ;)
 

eramart

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There’s a simple web solution that turns htmls into pdfs. They make 8k/ month.

At this point I believe anything is possible ;)
You mean pdfshift? It is actually a very good example of working microsaas idea - simple to use, not so simple to copy (pdfs are finicky), solves a need (automated invoice converting), scalable.
 

woken

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You mean pdfshift? It is actually a very good example of working microsaas idea - simple to use, not so simple to copy (pdfs are finicky), solves a need (automated invoice converting), scalable.
Yup that’s the one
 

PizzaOnTheRoof

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You mean pdfshift? It is actually a very good example of working microsaas idea - simple to use, not so simple to copy (pdfs are finicky), solves a need (automated invoice converting), scalable.
That would literally be my dream business. A simple SaaS that solves ONE problem very well
 

woken

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That would literally be my dream business. A simple SaaS that solves ONE problem very well
Well, you got your answers. Literally examples of simple saas that kills it.


now get to work, no more ifs and buts.
 

djforema

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@PizzaOnTheRoof

I'm not a coding expert and not sure if you are,, but here are a number of no code/low code options out there where you can build a simple SAAS on. This could give you an opportunity to quickly build your idea and see if you could market it.
You can always go back and build it from scratch if it gets to a point where you need more than what something like that is capable of.

Your post caught my eye because I'm currently working on using a low code solution to create an SAAS and the idea came from an excel file.

Just wanted to share the idea not sure if the community will agree with it or not.
 

Bekit

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I developed a spreadsheet once that solved a problem for my employer. The "standard" software to address this problem cost $2500, and the company wouldn't fork out that much money. That meant the employees were stuck doing this painstaking multi-step task by hand using a huge printed reference book where they had to look up specific entries in tables and then cross-reference that to the initial data. It was ridiculous and very subject to human error. The spreadsheet I built could calculate the whole thing instantly just by entering the initial data in the first page of the sheet.

I realized that this specific task that wasn't just happening at my workplace - There were thousands of other potential customers across the country - employees doing this task by hand because their employer wouldn't pay for the overpriced software.

I thought about going around and selling a copy of my spreadsheet for like $49.99 to the individual employees. It would be affordable for them and wouldn't require going through the red tape of the employer, and it would save them a ton of time and stress.

But the problem I couldn't figure out was how to stop people from just copying my spreadsheet and sharing it with others. It was a tight-knit industry where industry professionals in different locations had a lot of collaboration and cross-communication, so I figured that once a few people got ahold of it, it would just be shared from person-to-person via email or USB drives.

So I never released it on a wider scale.

How would you protect this from happening with your idea?
 

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BizyDad

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How would you protect this from happening with your idea?
Turn it into easy to use software. Force users to create a login to use it. Charge a monthly per user. Sell a discounted bundle of users to the companies as well.
 

inputchip

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Let's not overthink this. Validate the idea with your spreadsheet or other no-code tool (Airtable, Coda, Card, Webflow, etc). If this solves the problem, people won't care too much about the looks, they care more about solving their problems. You can make a spreadsheet look half decent with some branding, protected cells, checkboxes, and even licensing restrictions.

If you gain enough traction, move the idea over to something more robust.

Take a look at this tool:
 

Spino

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Quick post just asking for feedback.

Let's say I have a very simple idea for a SaaS product, something that could be solved with a spreadsheet (albeit ugly). The SaaS of course would be able to be expanded upon to add some features but not much as to not add too much bloat.

Is it worth creating a full fledged SaaS based around a simple calculation/data that could be handled by Excel? Any examples of a successful 'micro-SaaS"?

I say go for it and try,
You said there are similar solution but they are complex or messy

If you can provide a better solution and people can find you then you have a good chance of succeeding
 

WillHurtDontCare

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How would you protect this from happening with your idea?

As @BizyDad said, make software and hide the logic in the backend.

But people always eventually copy your SaaS, so it's a matter of having better marketing and a better user experience that ultimately protect you.
 

Vasili27

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@PizzaOnTheRoof

I'm not a coding expert and not sure if you are,, but here are a number of no code/low code options out there where you can build a simple SAAS on. This could give you an opportunity to quickly build your idea and see if you could market it.
You can always go back and build it from scratch if it gets to a point where you need more than what something like that is capable of.

Your post caught my eye because I'm currently working on using a low code solution to create an SAAS and the idea came from an excel file.

Just wanted to share the idea not sure if the community will agree with it or not
excuse my lack of knowledge on this,
how can you build build a software application that needs no code? or little code at all.
 

djforema

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excuse my lack of knowledge on this,
how can you build build a software application that needs no code? or little code at all.

Depending on your needs there are a ton of options out there so you'll have to look into each one. There are alot of built in features, but for some there is the option to extend what the platform can do by writing some code.

I'm using Bubble.io for the project I'm working on. It's basically a drag/drop editor that you can setup different actions for when the user does something.
In Bubble.io you can write custom html, Javascript, or create what Bubble.io calls a plugin to extend beyond what the core features are.

Like @Life of Brian said it's pretty impressive what you can do without code.
 

Life of Brian

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Depending on your needs there are a ton of options out there so you'll have to look into each one. There are alot of built in features, but for some there is the option to extend what the platform can do by writing some code.

I'm using Bubble.io for the project I'm working on. It's basically a drag/drop editor that you can setup different actions for when the user does something.
In Bubble.io you can write custom html, Javascript, or create what Bubble.io calls a plugin to extend beyond what the core features are.

Like @Life of Brian said it's pretty impressive what you can do without code.
It really is awesome what you can build without code now. For example, my point-of-sale system for a very specific niche was built entirely on Bubble: Wash-Dry-Fold POS

I started with the whole stair step method, though. I didn’t get here overnight. My very first app was a little thing that printed labels for a particular business. Next I made something that printed labels and sent text messages for that same type of business. Next I took on the task of building an entire point-of-sale system as a web app. Now that I have my own “main app” then I continue to grow it by adding features requested by users and prospective customers.

I own a software company that employs multiple people but I’m not a coder or developer in the hardcore traditional sense.
 

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